I jotted this verse down in the prayer journal for my daughter Elizabeth on December 2, 2011. Along with it I wrote the following:
People like to think we all have a guardian angel assigned to us. Truth is, we have something better! We have the Lord himself! My prayer for you today is that you have assurance in God’s protection day and night. Nothing diverts his attention from us.
God never blinks. He never takes his eyes off of us. He is divinely consistent. And if we don’t think our steps are ordered just consider the following back-story on a near miss accident that could have surely had devastating results.
Elizabeth is a massage therapist. Recently, she had a client who had to cut short his appointment because he had a meeting elsewhere that day. Making the adjustment, she had him out the door and with the found time, decided to run an errand. Moments later, a car careened through her shop, coming to rest precisely where she and the client were a mere moments before. Had he not cancelled, they certainly would have been under that car.
I received the frantic call from her that her suite was in shambles. Springing in to mom mode I hurriedly asked one of my co-workers to apologize for not keeping my next appointment, a lunch meeting, then flew out the door. The timing couldn’t have been worse, or so I thought. This luncheon was important. I didn’t need to miss it, but this had to come first.
Words could not have prepared me for what I saw when I arrived at the shop. Glass everywhere. Fiberglass shredded. Drywall pulverized. And a sedan parked perfectly in the space where tranquility and well-being usually abide. It was a knee buckling sight. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. But a woman’s mind has a way of taking the “what ifs” to a whole new level when it involves one of her offspring.
We spent the rest of the day removing debris and taking inventory. Later in the day, the same client who shortened his appointment, called her to talk about what had happened and what a close call it was. Then he asked her to give the phone to her dad. They spoke briefly and my husband thanked him for his genuine concern for Elizabeth. Hearing who it was gave me another reason to hit my knees. This client left early that day because he had a lunch appointment with me.
I’ll be honest, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all the connections, all the ways that this could have been altered. Had it not lined up as perfectly as it did, this story would have a very different ending. Don’t think I haven’t wondered every day since then why some moms get another day with their kids and some moms don’t.
And what I keep coming back to is found later in verse 8 of Psalm 121 “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
The word forevermore is a word of permanence — before, beside, and beyond. In a world where there is loss and unfairness in circumstances, we can look to the wisdom of Job who said “If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes. You will call and I will answer You; You will long for the work of Your hands.” Job 14:14-15.
We know something that Job only hoped for. Through Christ, we have a resurrection promise. Lost hugs and shared moments are not lost forever.
As we pray God’s protection over our loved ones, we are praying through the forevermore of his covering – a protection that outlives the physical. And just as Job struggled to grasp the greatness of this promise, we will wrestle with it too.